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NYPD, teammates of slain teen use basketball to honor his memory, crack down on guns

<i>WABC</i><br/>Three years ago
Three years ago

By Jim Dolan

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    SOUTH JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) — Three years ago, 14-year-old Aamir Griffin, a promising young student and athlete, was killed by a stray bullet while playing basketball in Queens.

On Wednesday night, his former teammates and the NYPD used basketball to honor his memory and to urge people in the community to speak up if someone they know has a gun.

They played basketball at the Baisley Park houses, a group from the NYPD and the team from Cordozo High School, the team Griffin would be playing on as a senior this year. He never got the chance.

“My grandson was different and special,” Griffin’s grandmother Kim Walston said.

Just 14 years old, Griffin was shot and killed with a bullet intended for someone else as he played basketball here three years ago, igniting a searing flame of pain that time cannot extinguish.

“It is very heartbreaking. It’s something as a parent you won’t get over,” Griffin’s mother Shanequa Griffin said.

Griffin’s family and the NYPD have built a bond since the shooting, and on Wednesday night, police encouraged residents to tell police if they know a teenager in the neighborhood is carrying a gun.

Griffin would be 17 now and maybe looking at a college scholarship. His coach says he was on that track.

“Too many kids are getting obituaries before getting their diplomas,” Cordozo High School coach Ron Naclerio said.

An 18-year-old suspected gang member was arrested and charged with Griffin’s murder.

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